Tuesday 13 November 2018

'I love the way the kids have to ask a question - and try to solve it'

Rena Buckley with Aoibhinn O Connor and Caitlynne Ryan McNamara from Herbertstown NS, Co Limerick, at this year’s RDS Primary Science Fair Photo: Oisin McHugh/True Media
Rena Buckley with Aoibhinn O Connor and Caitlynne Ryan McNamara from Herbertstown NS, Co Limerick, at this year’s RDS Primary Science Fair Photo: Oisin McHugh/True Media

Cork GAA star Rena Buckley, who works as a physiotherapist, was a judge at the Primary Science Fair earlier this year, and has given the event an enthusiastic endorsement as it is relaunched as the ESB Science Blast.

Rena is not only the most decorated GAA figure in history with a haul of 18 All-Ireland medals between camogie and ladies football, she also takes a keen interest in science in her job.

"As a physio, I work using science skills every day, so it was great to see young students learn the fundamentals of STEM skills through their projects and realise that the world of science is all around us.

"I also think it is very important to study science in second-level school because it offers an opening to so many different careers.

"What I liked about the Primary Science Fair is these types of projects encourage critical thinking.

"I love the way the kids have to ask a question - and try to solve it. It's a different way of learning."

Rena says science plays a crucial role in sport, and she saw this when she judged at the fair earlier this year. "In one of the projects, they made hurleys out of different types of timber, and discovered whether ash was the best type of wood to make a hurley with," she says.

"One of the great skills that the children learn is to present their findings at the fair. Presentation skills are important in work, and that makes the fair a huge learning experience."

As a judge at the fair earlier this year, Rena was not deciding on prizes because it is a non-competitive event.

Instead, she was giving the children and their teachers feedback.

Irish Independent

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